Vatican Rag: Obama is Arrogant, but Holocaust Denying Bishop Is Fine

pope_benedict.thumbnail.jpgYesterday President Obama overturned a ban on state funding for family-planning groups that carry out or facilitate abortions overseas.

And predictably, the Vatican got upset. Papal spokeshole Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, told the Corriere della Sera daily that Obama’s act was:

 the arrogance of someone who believes they are right, in signing a decree which will open the door to abortion and thus to the destruction of human life…What is important is to know how to listen to all the requests of the country without locking oneself into ideological visions with the arrogance of a person who, having the power, thinks they can decide on life and death.

Obama overturned the so-called "global gag rule" which cut off US funding to overseas family planning clinics which provide any abortion services whatsoever, from the operation itself to counseling, referrals or post-abortion services. Family planning includes birth control and other women’s ob-gyn care, including pre-natal care and counselling and the prevention of STDs.

AFP reports that

More than 250 health and human rights organisations from around the world sent Obama a letter, thanking him for ending a policy "which has contributed to the deaths and injuries of countless women and girls." 

Meanwhile, the Pope lifted the ex-communication ban on four bishops consecrated without papal consent 20 years ago by the late French ultraconservative Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. One of the bishops, Richard Williamson, denies the Holocaust and this week was shown in a Swedish state TV interview saying that historical evidence

is hugely against 6 million Jews having been deliberately gassed.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi explained  that Bishop Richard Williamson’s views had no impact on the decision to lift the excommunication decree which is based on interpretation of church doctrine. The ANSA news agency quoted Lombardi as saying that the Ill Papa’s decision by no means implies the Pope shares Williamson’s ideas or his comments

which will be judged on their own.

Monsignor Robert Wister, professor of church history at Immaculate Conception School of Theology at Seton Hall University in New Jersey elaborated:

To deny the Holocaust is not a heresy even though it is a lie. The excommunication can be lifted because he is not a heretic, but he remains a liar.

So you can lie and be a bishop? Isn’t lying a sin? 

Let’s revisit what Archbishop Rino Fisichella just said about Obama, as it certainly applies to Williamson:

the arrogance of a person who, having the power, thinks they can decide on life and death

Williamson has decided that the deaths of 10 million people, 6 million of whom were Jews, at the hands of Hitler, never happened. That’s a lot more arrogant than pro-actively saving women’s lives.

Previous post

Worship Not False Idols? Groupthink Sails On in Caroline Kennedy's Wake

Next post

Take Warning

Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.